Monday, December 24, 2012

Grandpa's Quilt

Every year I make one person a big gift.  This year was the year of Q's great grandpa.  I felt like I had a great idea and last year I asked everyone to send me profile pictures that I could turn into silhouettes and have all his kids, grandkids, and great grandchildren on a quilt.  I gave them three months so that I would have time to turn them into silhouette's and applique them all on.  Unfortunately, only my SIL and myself could be bothered to snap a couple of shots in three months time, so I did something that I really hated to do and bought a quilt kit.

I think the end quilt came out beautiful and I feel like I succeeded in making something that he will really like (based on the fact that my FIL really likes it).  I spent a lot of time making sure everything was perfect and the top was so neat and flat that the quilt top looked like cheater's cloth. The center is a panel and the borders are pieced onto the panel.

Here is a closeup of the quilting.

And the back.  I used to be afraid of doing a huge contrast in thread to the fabric because any flaw shows, but my quilting has gotten good enough that I don't feel that I need to worry about it anymore.

And the final quilt (74" x 52").

I just finished it and Q is currently wrapping it.  I'm so happy to have it done in time.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Irresponsible Parenting

Dear Mother at Six Flags,

Today, your budding psychopath attempted to push my two-year-old off of the Six Flags playset.  We are all very lucky that my husband was right there to stop him.  This was actually the third time your son attempted to push her and we are also very lucky that a) my husband did not witness the first two attempts and b) that I wasn't the one that was right beside my daughter when the third push happened as he is one of the most gentle persons on the planet and grew up in a loving, stable, non-violent home, and my instincts would have resulted in my likely incarceration after my response. We are also all very lucky that I wasn't present for your follow-up conversation with my husband because no, we don't have to understand that he is the eighth child.  Not only do I not have to understand it, I can't even comprehend how that is supposed to explain or excuse what happened.  So at which child did you give up responsible parenting and decide to let your children do whatever to other kids without any parent around to supervise?  I'm guessing it wasn't with number eight.  Please take a parenting class and also read up on how to teach your children the things that you have clearly neglected to date.

Thanks so much,
Mother of Darth Baby.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Beginner French Seam Pillowcase Tutorial

I'm making pillowcases for Christmas for the travel pillows my daughters and nieces have (Don't worry, they all get plenty of 'real' gifts and even some of those from me) and I thought I'd give a simple tutorial.  I've given measurements before, but these are a really simple way of making a high quality pillowcase.  After Christmas, I plan on making myself some body pillow cases since my body pillow that is actually supportive and good for my back doesn't actually fit in pillow cases that you can buy for body pillows (though they fit the cheapo $10 body pillows fine).

First, cut and iron your main fabric.
Travel case:  18 inches x 28 inches.
Standard case:  27 inches x 45 inches (or as close as you can get it width-wise).
Body pillow case:  50 inches x 45 inches (I wouldn't choose a fabric that is much less than 44 inch in width).

If adding trim, cut and iron the trim

Travel case:  3 inches x 28 inches.
Standard case:  3 inches x 45 inches.
Body pillow case:  3 inches by 45 inches.

Cut and iron the flange.

Travel case:  7 inches x 28 inches.
Standard case:  12 inches x 45 inches.
Body pillow case:  20 inches by 45 inches.

Next, fold the trim piece in half with wrong sides together and iron.

Place the flange fabric face up.  Place the main fabric face up on top of it lining up the edge.  Place the folded trim piece face up on that and again line up the edge.

Roll up the main fabric to where there is plenty of room to fold the flange in two.

Fold the flange over and line up all the edges.

Sew across the top (I use 1/4 inch seam here).

Pull all the fabric out of the tube.

Unroll the tube.


Now for the French seams.  This gives both sides a nicer and stronger finish.  Fold the fabric in two with wrong sides together.

Sew around using a seam 1/8-1/4 inch smaller than your usual seam.  (If you are a precision sewing, use 1/8 inch seam like I do.  A beginner should use 1/4 inch seam.)  On this pillow I actually turned my trim up which is why the flange looks smaller than the previous pictures.  Trim the seam to 1/8 of an inch or if it is frayed.

Turn inside out and press.

Sew again.  (I use 1/4 inch seam here.  Beginners should probably use 1/2 inch).

Turn back right side out and press.  In the even that there are threads or part of the earlier seam sticking out, you can simply turn back inside out and sew the seam a little further out at that point.

Here is a view of the final pillow case on the pillow.

Edited 12/19 to add trimming suggestions for stray threads or showing seams.